Library Receives In-Kind Gift of Rare Books

rare books collage

A gift from Thomas J. Healey (C’64) and family of over 1,500 works of modern fiction and poetry, important works in the fields of economics and business, and other works will immeasurably enrich in the Library’s rare book collections.

The books, judiciously and knowledgeably collected by Mr. Healey over many years, present a kaleidoscope of intellectual, fantastic, scientific, practical, economic and romantic thought. Many are signed or inscribed. Well-known illustrators are represented. A significant portion of the volumes will enhance the Library’s existing collections made possible by endowment funds established by Mr. Healey some years ago: The Thomas J. Healey Fund for National Book Award Collections, the Thomas J. Healey Fund for Booker Prize Collections, and the Susan K. Martin, Ph.D. Fund for Science Fiction Award Collections.

While several hundred authors are represented in the collection, Mr. Healey has assembled holdings of a number of writers much more extensively. The collection contains impressive runs of the works of Aldous Huxley, Robert Heinlein, Chinua Achebe, Isaac Asimov, John Banville, Len Deighton, Colin Dexter, Philip K. Dick, John Dos Passos, Brian Friel, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, John Le Carré, Ian McEwan, Paul Muldoon, Eugene O’Neill, and Evelyn Waugh, among others. These books fill several gaps in the Library’s current holdings.

Director of the Booth Family Center for Special Collections Dr. John Buchtel says of the collection:

Mr. Healey has generously supported Special Collections throughout his long service as a member of the Georgetown University Library Board. This year’s gift surpasses all his previous donations. The contents reflect a highly cultivated sense of taste, including first editions of some of the most important works of literature and genre fiction of the past century: from an inscribed copy of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man to Jack Kerouac’s On the Road; from Raymond Chandler’s noir classic The Big Sleep to Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (the basis for the film Bladerunner). Overall, the books are in exceptionally fine condition: another hallmark of a true connoisseur. The breadth of the collection is matched by its many areas of depth: it is a collection that will support research while at the same time providing Georgetown students opportunities to experience influential masterpieces as they first appeared. Students might even find some surprises, like Winnie the Pooh, a signed copy of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, or a complete set of the Watchmen series before it was collected and sold as a graphic novel.

The books are in the process of being cataloged; search “Thomas J. Healey Family Collection” to find them in the Library’s online catalog. Once cataloged, the books may be requested for use in the reading room of the Library’s Booth Family Center for Special Collections.